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People often confuse Veterans Day and Memorial Day. Both are federal holidays established to honor the men and women who have worn the uniform of the military forces of the United States of America. There are five U.S. military forces—Army, Air Force, Coast Guard, Marines Corps, and Navy—and those who served honorably in the military are called “veterans.”

Memorial Day, observed on the last Monday in May, was originally set aside to remember military personnel who died in the service of their country. In particular, the day honors those who died in battle or as a result of wounds that were sustained in battle.

Like Memorial Day, Veterans Day honors service members who died. Unlike Memorial Day, however, Veterans Day is largely intended to thank living veterans for their service, to show our appreciation for their contributions to our national security, and to underscore that all who served—not only those who died—have sacrificed and done their duty in times of war and peace.

Veterans Day, originally called Armistice Day, is celebrated on November 11th each year. At the 11th hour on that day in 1918, the armistice that ended WWI, “the war to end all wars,” went into effect. Traditionally, a moment of silence is observed at 11:00 a.m. on the 11th of November.

Veterans Day is a day to honor American Veterans of all wars for their patriotism, love of country and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.

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